Important information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Elective Surgery Update

St Vincent’s hospitals will recommence some elective surgeries as of Monday 27 April, 2020, in accordance with the guidance of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and as endorsed by the National Cabinet.  Per this government guidance, there are limitations on the number and types of elective surgeries which can proceed.  

Here at St Vincent’s, as at every hospital, the decision to proceed with surgery will be assessed by the treating specialist and St Vincent’s clinical staff on an individual case basis, according to AHPPC guidelines and specific criteria such as the risk of the procedure, the condition of the patient, available stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE),  and hospital ICU and bed capacity.  

If you are considering or are scheduled for surgery, please discuss your procedure with your treating doctor, GP or specialist.  If  you would like to ask any questions about your booking at our hospital, please contact us at 03 9411 7111.  Alternatively you can visit the State Department of Health information for more detail on the category 2 and select category 3 procedures which have been allowed to proceed.

Information on this page


Overview

We are closely monitoring, and proactively responding to the developments in Australia associated with coronavirus (COVID-19), in conjunction with both the Australian Government authorities and local public health units.

We understand the rapidly evolving and unprecedented and widespread effects of COVID-19 may result in high levels of concern, however we want to reassure you that we are well-prepared and well-resourced to manage the impacts.

We have strict infection control and prevention protocols in place to protect patients, health care workers and visitors to minimise the risk of any infection, including COVID-19.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are documented on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website. If you are unwell and require urgent medical attention you should contact your GP or call 000 for an ambulance (this will work even without phone credit).


Information for visitors

UPDATE: We now have NEW VISITOR RESTRICTIONS in place across all St Vincent's Private Hospital Melbourne Sites.

Visitor Restrictions:
▪️Only one visitor allowed per patient per day
▪️Visits are capped at a maximum of 2 hours.
▪️Visiting hours are strictly from 2pm to 8pm.
▪️No visitors under the age of 16.

MATERNITY: ONE partner or support person (over 16 years of age) is allowed to stay with the patient

Additionally, to comply with the Victorian DHHS COVID-19 Guidelines; visitors to the hospital must undergo a temperature check, answer screening questions and provide their contact details to be permitted entry

Visitors will not be allowed to enter SVPHM hospitals if they:
▪️have arrived in Australia from overseas within the past 14 days;
▪️have recently come into contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
▪️have a temperature over 38 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection.

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.
  • Social distancing

    It is important to practise social distancing to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

    Important tips include:

  • You should aim to remain 1.5 metres apart at all times. If you are required to move closer than 1.5 metres, ensure that the time does not exceed 15 minutes
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not share food
  • Return to top ^


    Information for maternity patients

    To minimise the risk of COVID-19 to our maternity patients and their bubs, St Vincent's Private Hospital Melbourne has increased its precautionary measures and are restricting visitors to our maternity floors. Partners OR a support person (only one) are still welcome however we respectfully ask that other family members and friends do not visit at this time.

    We ask that partners OR support persons do not attend if they are experiencing at least one of the following symptoms and/or you have been overseas, or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

    ▪️Fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or wheezing, breathing difficulties▪️

    This decision has been made based on the most recent information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services around COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates and notify our SVPHM community when this precautionary measure changes 

    Maternity tours and education classes

    In response to the changing COVID-19 situation, for the safety of our patients and staff, we have taken the decision to postpone our group maternity tours and classes.

    Our maternity units are in the process of changing the way Childbirth Education classes are offered to our expectant parents during the COVID-19 situation. At this present moment, our Child Birth Education Classes have been made available online through a series of videos. If you are an expectant parent of SVPHM, you will receive an email with information on how to access this material.  

    Luxury hotel stays for maternity patients

    Due to the evolving situation, to prioritise the safety of our mothers and babies, we have decided to pause the Park Hyatt Family Retreat option. We apologise for this inconvenience and will update you with new information in the coming weeks.

     

    FAQs

    What is this virus?

    Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The virus first seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there has been a significant increase in new cases across many countries in Europe and around the world. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

    What are the symptoms?

    Symptoms include fever OR an acute respiratory infection and include (but are not limited to) cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath with or without a fever.

    How is the coronavirus spread?

    The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person by:

    • Direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
    • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
    • Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables or face masks) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

    Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. There is now some evidence that people could be contagious before showing symptoms.

    How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
    • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
    • cough and sneeze into your elbow
    • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
    • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

    Where are the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres located?

    COVID-19 clinics and assessment centres have been established at various sites across Australia. Please click on the relevant link below to view the services available in your state:

    Can I still visit my specialist/doctor even if we are locked down for COVID-19?

    Yes, visiting your doctor is considered an essential indoor gathering under current guidelines. That means you must adhere to social distancing measures by keeping a distance of 1.5m between yourself and other people and good hygiene practices including using hand sanitiser before and after your visit with your doctor.

    What does isolate in your home mean?

    People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

    How is the virus treated?

    There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. Some people will require hospitalisation.  

    Should I wear a face mask?

    A face mask will not protect you against becoming infected. While the use of face masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, face masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like novel coronavirus. If you are unwell with cold and flu-like symptoms, then a mask can be worn when you attend the hospital or GP office for assessment.

    Where can I get more information?

    Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.

    Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.

    Discuss any questions you have with the Public Health Agency monitoring you.

    Contact your state or territory public health agency:

    • ACT call 02 5124 9213
    • NSW call 1300 066 055
    • NT call 08 8922 8044
    • QLD call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
    • SA call 1300 232 272
    • TAS call 1800 671 738
    • VIC call 1300 651 160
    • WA visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au or call your local public health unit